Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fall in Alabama

I recently made the big hop across the pond to visit my family in Alabama... just thought I'd share some of the highlights of the trip.

When I planned the trip I was so excited. I'd have 5 weeks off work, October 25- November 30. I thought there would be plenty of time to study for my tours, read some of my old Art History books from college, visit family, relax, and enjoy being home. Of course trips home are never as relaxing as you expect them to be. There are people to see and things to do, so as usual by the end of the trip I was exhausted. But I can honestly say that I crammed as much quality family time into those days as I physically could, so I'm happy.
I was home for the major fall holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving, which was lucky because Thanksgiving doesn't exist in Italy and while Halloween is gaining popularity there it's definitely a bigger deal in the US. I really love Fall in Alabama. Aside from the holidays, it's just a beautiful time of year with the changing leaves and gorgeous weather. I'm happy I got to spend my favorite time of year at home. My family also creatively solved the problem of me missing Christmas at home this year... we just made November 25th Christmas. So I got to have Christmas at home too. Here's a pic of me, Tommaso, and our stack of gifts:
PhotobucketI also (finally!) got to do some art! Terry Strickland ( http://www.terrystricklandart.com/ ) invited me to be her assistant at her Gadsden Museum of Art workshop Nov. 13 & 14, so I also got to take part in the workshop. I had a blast hanging out with Terry and learning new techniques. We worked in oils, which I haven't done in maybe 2 or 3 years... I know, shame on me. The workshop was really the kick in the pants I needed to get started painting again. Since then I've purchased some new art supplies, brought them to Italy, and set up a studio space... I'm heading in the right direction, now I just have to get in there and paint! Here's the lovely Terry teaching at the workshopPhotobucket

I also got some bad news while visiting home. My grandmother (father's mom) has been battling cancer for years, and it is no longer responding to treatment. My grandmother has been put on hospice care, and now everyone is just trying to make her as comfortable as possible. At first she seemed to be pretty strong and have a good attitude toward all of this, but in the short time I was home I saw her getting weaker. I breaks my heart, and it made leaving Alabama even harder. I'm going to try to go back to see her in February though, if I can afford it. I'd just like to ask anybody who reads this, whatever your faith may be, please send some prayers or meditation or good vibes her way. Her name is Betty.
Well, I guess that's it for this post. I've got a tour tomorrow, so I'm heading to bed. Goodnight!

Monday, December 6, 2010

First Post

Let me start by saying I'm pretty new to blogging and a chronic procrastinator (I'm lucky if my Facebook status gets updated once a week and I have pictures from 2004 that I've never uploaded), so we'll see how this turns out.

Basically, I'm doing this blog so that my friends and family can see what I'm up to. I live in Rome and work as a tour guide, so that in itself keeps my life pretty interesting. I call myself an artist, but since I haven't painted anything serious in about a year I'm not so sure I deserve the title. I'm planning to work on that, though... with tourism's low season starting I have no excuse not to create a studio space and get to work. I'll be posting pics of my progress. I hope :)

I also think blogging will be a good way for me to clear my head of a lot of clutter... thoughts and ideas and worries that fill my brain as I'm taking the train to work or trying to get to sleep at night. So you'll probably see a lot of my opinions and thoughts on life, as well as personal struggles (like learning to speak Italian and trying to maintain a healthy weight in the land of pasta, pizza, and pane) and occasional triumphs. I'd love to have people share their thoughts and advice on the subjects I post, so don't be shy!

I guess that's about it for my first post. Pretty soon I'll be writing about my recent trip home to Alabama. But for now I'm going to enjoy some much needed quality time with my man- watching a movie and cuddling on the couch. Ciao, y'all!